In Harford County, community services are provided by the Department of Community Services, and the Department of Social Services.


The Department of Community Services oversees Housing and Community Development, the Local Management Board, and four offices: Aging; Disability Services; Drug Control Policy; and Human Relations, Mediation, and Volunteerism.

Formerly the Office on Aging and Transportation Services, the Office on Aging is the local area agency designated by Harford County to administer State and federal funds for local senior citizen programs. These programs cover advocacy services, health education, housing, information and referral, in-home services, and nutrition (Code Human Services Article, secs. 10-201 through 10-214).

Grants of federal and State funds for local programs to serve the elderly are provided by the federal Older Americans Act (Title III), the federal Food and Agriculture Act (sec. 700), and State general funds. The Department also receives local funds, private donations, and contributions from program participants.

Ombudsman staff and volunteers advocate for the rights of nursing-home residents and seniors in assisted-living facilities and continuing-care centers.

The Maryland Access Point (MAP) Center provides seniors with information on assisted-living facilities, in-home care, long-term care; Medicare, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities.

Under the Office on Aging, four Senior Centers provide exercise and educational programs, computer labs, games, social events, and health screenings. These centers are located at Edgewood; Fallston (Veronica (Roni) Chenowith Center); Havre de Grace; and Bel Air (McFaul Center). Some programs and classes also are offered at two Department of Parks and Recreation centers: Edgewood Recreation and Community Center, and Norrisville Library and Recreation Center at White Hall.



The Harford Center is an agency and instrumentality of County government through which programs and services are made available with both public and private funds and resources to persons who are mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or in need of any form of rehabilitation related to mental or physical conditions. The Center also operates a residential and day-care training and rehabilitation center.

The Harford Center is governed by the Board of Directors.


Established in 1994, the Harford County Local Management Board coordinates a system of local services for Harford County children, youth, and families (Code Human Services Article, secs. 8-301 through 8-305). Health, education, social and justice services are provided to young people who may be moved from their home because of abuse, neglect, delinquency, or special needs. In the community, the Board coordinates services so that children, placed in programs out-of-state, may be helped closer to home.

The Board is governed by a 23-member Board of Directors appointed by the County Executive.


When the Department of Social Services started as the Department of Public Welfare in 1939, the Welfare Board was the local administrative agency for public assistance (Chapter 99, Acts of 1939). The Department of Public Welfare assumed welfare responsibilities from the Welfare Board in 1967, and was renamed the Department of Social Services in 1968 (Chapter 148, Acts of 1967; Chapter 702, Acts of 1968).

Social service and public assistance programs in Harford County are the responsibility of the Department of Social Services. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the food stamp program), and Temporary Cash Assistance, as well as services for adoption, foster care, and child protection. To implement programs and provide support services to children and families in their communities, the Department also works with local organizations to offer education and training, transitional housing, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. The Director of the Department administers these programs subject to the supervision, direction, and control of the Social Services Administration, and the Family Investment Administration.

With the approval of the Secretary of Human Services and the advice of the County Social Services Board, the County Executive appoints the Director (Code Human Services Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-303).

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